Market watchers often find themselves being subjected to mortgage and real estate news that focuses on the exceptional circumstances in Toronto and Vancouver.
However, the attention that is focused on these frenzied markets would seem to be of little concern to the agents, brokers and buyers who are not directly involved in them. Even the Canadian Real Estate Association makes a point of saying – in all of its releases – that “all markets are local” and the best advice is to work with a local expert (i.e. one of its members). As true as that may be, there are good reasons to keep an eye on Toronto and Vancouver.
Toronto is Canada’s financial capital and the country’s top technology hub. The Greater Golden Horseshoe area, around the west end of Lake Ontario, accounts for a fifth of the national economy. Vancouver is a top destination for property investors from around the world and a key landing point for Chinese capital.
Prices in Toronto have risen by 43% in the past three years. Vancouver has seen a whopping 63% increase. If the people who work in these centers, keeping key economic sectors running, cannot find or afford places to live it presents a broader, national economic problem. The head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Evan Siddal, has said that his main, long-term, concern about the housing market is the supply of housing in Toronto and Vancouver.
As we know, governments at all three levels have been fighting to rein-in these galloping markets, in some cases with national consequences.